Written by Karen D. Swim
The sky blushed with soft shades of rose, clouds softly rolling in darkening the sun
A heart that was heavy lifted as emotions floated on the wind, I exhaled and the sky blushed.
Soft droplets of rain falling gently from the folds of lavender robes as a clap of thunder trumpeted the arrival of a majestic display of power and humility
Branches bowed low in worship, leaves danced in delight
Emotion seeped from hidden spaces, riding waves of tears pushing past floodgates of fear
The sky blushed and I exhaled.
Over the long weekend I began reading a fabulous book, Collapse of Distinction: Stand out and move up while your competition fails (NelsonFree). (Big fat huge hugs to Kelly Erickson for the book!) There are a wealth of lessons which I will share liberally in later posts, but the book got me to thinking about authenticity and transparency.
We all agree that transparency has its boundaries. We do not need nor want to know the intimate details of everyone’s life. We need not be privy to every dark thought or struggle. It is my belief that ultimately it is not transparency or authenticity we seek; we crave humanity.
We want to know that there are real live people who think, breathe, cry and don’t always have the answers behind the logos and branding messages. We want to know that you feel, and care about many of the same things we do.
Yet, we require that humanity in a silo. In my own life, it is time to bleed the lines. I have always been fairly “transparent” yet I realize that my self imposed limits may be stunting my own growth. I am a writer desiring to grow, stretch and learn yet until now have been fearful of sharing certain kinds of writing on this blog.
Yes, there is a fine line to walk here. You cannot do what you feel in spite of what your market wants BUT to innovate and grow you must be willing to test.
There are many things we use and like that we never could have predicted.
McKain’s book inspires the question of whether we want to be different or do we truly want to be distinct? I am not out for fame, fortune or even market share but I do want to be my own class. I want to be wanted for me and not as the writer or marketer that is like so and so.
To achieve that end, I have to find my own voice and be willing to make mistakes along the way. I must break down silos and share the other pieces of me – yes the bad poetic musings, the half baked fiction and the often really good ideas that emerge from the schizophrenic process.
How can I be authentic in the market if I am not first true to myself? While I will not use this space as a laboratory, I will blur the lines as I create that crayon in the box that is clearly marked “Karen.”
What about you? Do you want to be different or do you want to be distinct?